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Key to the City

What to See—and Eat!—at the Best Museums in L.A.

Key to the City BY genevieve ang 03/04/2016

“I pick out shapes and colors in art pieces all the time to give me ideas,” says Amanda Loos, who funnels those ideas into Kyyote, her line of super wearable jewelry that packs a punch without being OTT. Here are her fave museums to hit in L.A. and where she heads when she’s hungry for something other than sculpture.



Photo by Tim Street-Porter


Why It’s Great: “One of my earliest jobs when I was just out of high school was at Norton Simon Museum. I started out working as a gallery attendant, so I spent a lot of time staring at all of the artwork there! I ended up working here through college, so going back is like visiting old friends in my favorite art pieces.”


What to See: “Barbara Hepworth’s Assembly of Sea Forms and Isamu Noguchi’s The White Gunas are incredibly inspiring—they are so pure and organic and lend themselves to seeing new forms when you walk around them. The lower level of the museum is an amazing space with incredible South and Southeast Asian art and a small and lovely sculpture garden!”


What to Eat Nearby: “The Tibet Nepal House is so good and is hidden away. Try the momo dumplings as well as one of their many yak meat dishes if you’re feeling adventurous!”



Image via @theautry


Why It’s Great: “The Autry is quite eclectic and houses some great Americana—Gene Autry memorabilia, gun and sheriff badge collections, and Native American art and craft. Even though my art is very modern, I use a lot of classic Native American materials, like seed beads and porcupine quills, so I have to give a nod to the Native American heritage that these materials have.”


What to See: “The entire museum is an experience—and they rotate their work all the time—but I do keep coming back to the beaded work, especially the moccasins and clothing.”


What to Eat Nearby: “You must try a bison burger at the Crossroads West Cafe, right in The Autry. The museum is located right right in Griffith Park, so after lunch I love to walk the park and visit the playground, merry-go-round, and old zoo.”


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Image via @thebroadmuseum


Why They’re Great: “Since these museums are literally across the street from each other, it’s a trip that I love to do together—but I would definitely suggest devoting at least a couple of hours to each if it’s your first visit! I lived downtown when it was truly a place where artists lived—my first neighbor was George Herms, an important California artist who did a lot of assemblage and found art, so downtown L.A. has a big place in my heart.”


What to See: “At MOCA, all of their Rothko works! Color is a huge thing for me, so I never miss a chance to see them. At the Broad, all the work of Cy Twombly. Apparently the Broads were avid fans and collectors of his work. Definitely don’t miss Nini’s Painting [Rome] and Leaving Paphos Ringed with Waves (III).”


What to Eat Nearby: “For lunch, I love to visit Little Tokyo. I’ve been eating classic, traditional sushi at Oomasa for 17 years. For dinner, I love The Cicada Club, which is in a fabulous art deco building downtown. This is where my husband proposed to me!”



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